I was inspired to make these delicious little things after visiting several restaurants that kept serving sandwiches on pretzel rolls, instead of regular buns. I think just about anything served on a pretzel bun tastes better. Plus, who doesn't love warm pretzels?! Even my daughter, who is a "selective" eater was like "i like 'em" in a surprising little voice, haha..
So while making these pretzel buns, I was a little concerned they were not going to turn out like I wanted. I had a little helper on the first part of this recipe before she headed off to bed, and before I knew it she was busy pouring in the flour mixture into the other liquid mixture, before I had gotten the yeast mixture incorporated! yipes! luckily, I caught her in time before she started mixing, and I could add in the yeast before it was too late. So with that said, I was happily surprised how freakishly delicious these buns turned out. It is a must, to eat one right out of the oven, nice and hot and fresh, really it is, no matter what time of the day it is. I had my first bite, and I was ready to hit my pretzel coma right then and there and call it a night to go to bed. I was glad to see it actually turn out well, and tasting great after I thought I messed up a few steps, so with that, I give you courage to make them too! Enjoy.
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp warm milk
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
4 cups all-purpose flour
kosher salt or pretzel salt
2 quarts cold water
1/2 cup baking soda
In a bowl, mix a 1/3 cup of the warm water (about 105-115 degrees) with the yeast and let stand until foamy. Next, add the remaining 1 cup of warm water along with warm milk, sugar & melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix a bit to dissolve the brown sugar. Then add flour and mix well. Stir until you get a nice, firm, pliable dough ball. Add more flour if necessary. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Roll dough into a long log about 2 feet, and cut into 12 even pieces, about 2 inches wide. Cover dough with plastic wrap and a place damp cloth on top. Let sit for 10 minutes. Next, pat dough into rolls or form knots and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.
Let the pretzels rest for an additional 30 minutes or until they have enlarged in size.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda. Seriously, do me and you a favor, use a larger stockpot, or else the science experiment of adding baking soda to boiling water, will do a bubbly number and erupt all over your stove top. I almost made this mistake. I had to switch from my 2 quart sauce pan of boiling water to a larger pot at the very end, just before I added the baking soda, as my realization set in. haha.. So after you have the water boiling, add in the 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water. Drop in two rolls at a time into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once. Carefully remove with tongs or slotted spoon and let it drain a bit. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and score a design onto the top of the rolls if desired. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Arrange rolls on the oiled baking sheets and bake on the upper and middle racks of the oven for about 15 minutes to achieve a nice brown color. Your oven may vary, so start checking the rolls after about 8-9 minutes to get the color/doneness you want. I shifted and turned the pans about halfway through, for even baking. Let the rolls cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack and enjoy!
original recipe here